By George Odok
Calabar – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has warned against hike in the prices of petroleum products in Calabar and Cross River, as yuletide approaches.
The Operations Controller of DPR in Cross River, Mr Philip Awolu, gave this warning when he led an inspection team to some depots operating at the Calabar tank farm on Wednesday.
Awolu said that the visit was to ensure normal operations and strict compliance with the agency’s guidelines and regulations of the department.
The controller said that the visit was also to ensure that the product was sold to marketers at the government approved price and without diversion that would lead to panic buying.
He said that the agency was concerned about the lifting of petroleum products and distribution across the state to ensure availability.
According to him, as part of the agency’s guidelines, depots are supposed to have safety checks, laboratory service for testing of product among other things.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the Northwest depot that any depot that fell short of the agency’s requirement would be sanctioned.
“The Federal Government frowns at diversion and what is not right, especially at this period of the year. We are here to see how the depot owners are complying with standard operating procedures.
“We have met with depot owners and major marketers on the way forward for the yuletide and beyond.
“We warned them against bulk buying, price hike and diversion of the product in order to ensure availability,” he said.
Awolu assured motorists in the state that there were enough petroleum products that could serve them within the Christmas period and beyond.
“From our assessment, majority of the depots have adequate product that will serve the state during this yuldtide and beyond, so there is no need for panic buying,” he said.